Minimal change nephropathy (MCNS) and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) are the main causes of the idiopathic nephrotic syndrome. MCNS usually responds to steroids and the long-term prognosis is generally good.
However, some patients require prolonged treatment with immunosuppressive agents. FSGS generally follows a less favourable course: patients do not always respond to steroids and may progress to end-stage renal disease. Recurrence of FSGS after renal transplantation is frequently observed and
may result in graft loss.
Recently, anecdotal case reports have described long-term resolution of nephrotic syndrome due to MCNS or
FSGS after treatment with rituximab. We present four
patients with nephrotic syndrome due to MCNS, FSGS or
recurrence of FS GS after kidney transplantation, who were treated with rituximab with variable success. A review of the recent literature suggests that anti-CD20 antibodies may be a promising therapy, especially for patients with MCNS or idiopathic FSGS. Controlled studies are required to determine the efficacy of rituximab and to define which patients will benefit.